Eagles vs Giants: Who Ya Got?


Enough of the chit-chat and hype. Time to breakdown this highly anticipated Eagles-Giants NFC East playoff brawl. I’m going position by position to see which team will come out on top. Let’s get to it, shall we.

Head CoachTom Coughlin has an 8-6 playoff record. Andy Reid is 9-6. Coughlin has a ring. Reid doesn’t. Advantage: Giants

Quarterback – Eli Manning is 4-2 in the post-season, having won his last four. He has historically struggled against the Eagles. Donovan McNabb has a 8-5 playoff record. He’s tossed four touchdown passes in two meetings this season. Advantage: Eagles

Running Backs – Brandon Jacobs and Derek Ward ran for 17 scores. Brian Westbrook has scored seven career post-season touchdowns and has given the Giants fits. Advantage: Even

Wide Receivers – Amani Toomer has scored seven playoff touchdowns. Kevin Curtis has topped 100 yards in two of three playoff starts. Domenik Hixon and DeSean Jackson are babies. Advantage: Eagles

Tight End: Kevin Boss is a rising star. L.J. Smith is a fading star. Advantage: Giants

Offensive Line: The Giants O-line paves the way for the NFL’s #1 rushing attack. The Eagles O-line, minus its best player Shawn Andrews, allowed a franchise low 23 sacks in the regular season. Advantage: Giants

Defensive Line: Justin Tuck is an All-Pro end and Fred Robbins is one of the league’s top defensive tackles. The Eagles D-line finished #3 vs the rush and #3 in sacks with 48. Advantage: Even

Linebackers: Experience versus youth. Advantage: Giants

Secondary: The Giants start four players with four years or less experience. The Eagles have two Pro Bowlers in Brian Dawkins and Asante Samuel. Advantage: Eagles

Special Teams: John Carney nailed 35 field goals in ’08. David Akers hit a team-record 33. The Eagles also returned two kicks/punts for scores. Advantage: Eagles

Well, that cleared things up. Uh, not really. I don’t normally give predictions but I have no problem laying it on the line: Eagles 20, Giants 16.

So, tell me WHO YA GOT???

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  • http://heardinthecheapseats.com/ Chris Iafolla

    Very good post.  On my site: http://heardinthecheapseats.com/, I have been conducting a similar breakdown of the game as the week progressed.  Running a Philly sports blog myself, we came to many of the same conclusions on the game itself.  To sum it up, I agree that the Eagles will win a close contest.

    Keys to the Game:
    1.)     Stop Brandon Jacobs: As I mentioned above, I think the Eagles will be able to limit his production.  Without having to worry about Plaxico Burress, the Eagles will put eight in the box to slow down Jacobs.
    2.)     Get After Eli: Eli exercised his demons last year with a Super Bowl victory but he is still prone to a mistake when pressure is in his face.  On occasion, he slips into his old habit of throwing off his back foot.  The task won’t be easy, as the Giants have one of the best offensive lines in the NFL, but if they are able to reach Eli, they should be able to force a turnover or two.
    3.)     Establish a Willingness to Run the Football: If the Eagles show the intent to run early, it will open up their passing game for later in the game.  They need to commit to a rushing attack on the first offensive position.  This will mean getting Correll Buckhlater involved in the action to lighten Westbrook’s load.
    4.)     Protect McNabb: The Eagles have been able to do this with astonishing success in the previous two matchups and they will need to do so again tomorrow.  If they give McNabb time, there will be room to throw in the Giants secondary. 
    This will be a hard-fought game that will live up to all of the hype it has received.  Like many NFC-East battles, I anticipate a knock-em-down, drag-em-out battle.
    My prediction?  Eagles live to play another day: Eagles 17, Giants 13

  • http://heardinthecheapseats.com/ Chris Iafolla

    Hey Scott,

    Good summary.  On the special teams front, I actually feel like the Giants have the advantage.  For starters, the struggles of David Akers at Giants Stadium have been widely chronicled.  I know he hit the 51-yarder, but he also had two attempts blocked.  I believe those struggles are behind him, but until he proves it, the Giants have a slight edge in the kicking game.  I also think Jackson will be neutralized becuase he is facing one of the best, if not the best, directional punter in the history of the game.  Sav is a major wildcard and if the weather does not cooperate there is no telling what you will get out of him.  I think in breaking down the game, you need to take a closer look at the matchups that will impact the game.  I get the position-by-position breakdown, but the Eagles WRs do not play against the Giants WRs.  So, in that regard, I think where the Eagles have the biggest advantage and must capitalize is when the Giants have the ball.  The Eagles defense is capable of shutting down this Giant offense and may need to do just that to win this game.  With a healthy Jacobs, the Birds will have their hands full but I beleive they are up to the task.

    Like you, I see a low-scoring affair–typical of most NFC-East battles.  Eagles live to play another day and win 17-13

  • http://heardinthecheapseats.com/ Chris Iafolla

    And apologies for the double comment (and now triple!).  It wasn’t showing up on my screen so I thought it never went through.  My bad!

  • http://www.betfirms.com Jack Jones


    Nice breakdown of the game.  I’m going with the Eagles as well, they have to be confident they can pull off a win in NY after doing so last month right?  No team is hotter than they are right now, coming through what seems like two solid months of “must-win” situations.


  • SoDev

    34-17 G-Men


  • Freak

    I am going with the Eagles because I am a fan.  21-17.  I think our defense has to score or at least dominate on turnovers. I have more faith in our special teams than Chris but I can’t argue with his points.

    I am so excited about this game.

    The worst part is that I teach in south Jersey where a bunch of my students suddenly became Giants fans this year.  Bunch of front runners…  they will be insufferable if

  • Freak


    if the Eagles lose.

    heh.  Damn submit button and clumsy fingers.  :)

  • http://RaisingZona.com Scott Allen

    I got the Eagles back tomorrow!  Bring it tomorrow!  I will have my McNabb jersey on and will be the biggest Eagles fan this side of the Mississippi on Sunday.  Crush the G-Men!!  Go Eagles!

  • Ian

    Eagles 20 Giants 7

  • http://www.betagainstme.com/?affid=959 BetAgainstMe

    Great win. Not unexpected though… think a lot of people saw how determined Philly has been since the McNabb benching.